Anytime a person has been charged with a crime, it is a stressful situation. The criminal defense attorneys at Perry, Bundy, Plyler & Long, LLP. will provide counsel during this stressful time and inform you of the many options you have and the possible consequences. Each case is unique, depending on the various circumstances involved and the facts surrounding each case.
You should always consult a criminal defense attorney if you are charged with a crime. The consequences of a conviction are far-reaching. Some people think they can handle a simple misdemeanor themselves, but something that may seem simple now could have detrimental consequences and impact your ability to find gainful employment. We understand that often a parent is assisting their child with the charge and will work with parents and their children to obtain the best possible outcome for their family.
Driving While Impaired in North Carolina
We frequently assist clients with effective defenses in DWI cases. The offense of driving while impaired, or driving while intoxicated (DWI), is taken extremely seriously in North Carolina. Even with a first offense, you can face substantial penalties upon conviction. Under North Carolina law, a person commits the offense of impaired driving “if he drives any vehicle upon any highway, any street, or any public area” within North Carolina under any of the following conditions:
- While under the influence of an impairing substance
- After having consumed sufficient alcohol that he has, at any relevant time after the driving, an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more
- With any amount of a Schedule I controlled substance (or its metabolites) in his blood or urine
Without the help of a DWI defense lawyer, you could face serious penalties upon conviction of a DWI. The North Carolina Department of Public Safety explains that there are five separate levels of driving while intoxicated in the state, and each is a misdemeanor offense. Those penalty levels include the following:
- Level V: This is the least serious level of a misdemeanor DWI, and it is punishable with a fine of up to $200, a minimum jail sentence of 24 hours, and a maximum jail sentence of 60 days. It is within the judge’s discretion for a Level V offense to suspend the sentence based on the specific facts of the case, provided that the defendant spend 24 hours in jail, perform 24 hours of community service, or agree not to operate a motor vehicle for at least 30 days.
- Level IV: This level of DWI is the second-least serious and is punishable with a fine of up to $500, a minimum jail sentence of 48 hours, and a maximum jail sentence of 120 days. Like a Level V offense, a judge can suspend the sentence provided that other actions are completed by the defendant.
- Level III: This level of DWI is punishable with a fine of up to $1,000, a minimum jail sentence of 72 hours, and a maximum jail sentence of six months. Like Level V and IV offenses, it is within the judge’s discretion to suspend the sentence provided that other conditions are met.
- Level II: This level of DWI is the second-most serious and is punishable with a fine of up to $2,000, a minimum jail sentence of seven days, and a maximum jail sentence of one year. Once a person is charged with a Level II DWI, it is not within the judge’s discretion to suspend the minimum sentence.
- Level I: This is the most serious DWI level and is punishable by a fine of up to $4,000, a minimum jail sentence of 30 days, and a maximum jail sentence of two years. It is not within the judge’s discretion to suspend the minimum sentence.
Both Level II and Level I offenders are repeat offenders. Once a person has three prior DWIs and is charged again, the offense becomes a felony DWI with a minimum jail term of at least one year.
If you are convicted of a DWI, you must undergo a substance abuse assessment in addition to completing either an education program or a treatment program, as the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) clarifies.
Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney in Monroe, North Carolina
Every criminal defense attorney at our firm will be able to use their experience in the criminal arena to help you understand your rights and options. We are able to advise as to whether you should proceed to trial if necessary, or if it is in your best interest to work out the best possible reduction of charges. In North Carolina, you can be charged with a felony or a misdemeanor. We handle all felonies and misdemeanors including driving while impaired, underage consumption, possession of marijuana, domestic violence, driving while license revoked, and financial crimes.
When you are facing criminal charges, it is extremely important to hire a criminal defense lawyer who can help with your case. At Perry, Bundy, Plyler & Long, LLP, we provide tailored representation to each of our clients, determining the best defense strategy based on the individual facts of your case. We know how difficult it can be to learn that you are facing criminal charges, and we want to build the strongest possible defense for your case.
An aggressive Monroe, NC criminal defense attorney can begin working with you on your case today. Contact Perry, Bundy, Plyler & Long, LLP to get started.
With over 110 years of combined legal experience, you can trust your case with us.
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